For seasons, The Walking Dead has struggled with longer narrative arcs: the show’s been at its best telling smaller, contained stories, like the introduction of Woodbury, the return of Morgan Jones – or in recent days, Carol and Rick’s supply run. When it comes to the larger, overarching stories (the farm, Rick and Lori, The Governor), The Walking Dead‘s relatively thin characterizations and themes are stretched beyond their limits, often leading to repetitive storytelling (Where’s Carl?, which made an ironically hilarious return tonight) and head-scratching logic.
Being the culmination of a 24-episode arc, it’s no surprise that the Governor’s Last Stand is more of a visual spectacle than an emotionally resonant hour, even with the death of a couple ‘major’ (it’s debatable how major any of these three were, but I digress) characters on the show. The biggest problem is the logic behind it all: how does the Governor ever think this plan is going to succeed? It’s obvious his entire speech to the community was a series of lies – completing his arc from psychopath to broken man and back, paralleling his equally malicious and misleading final Woodbury speech nicely – but it’s not clear what his endgame is. Yes, his desire for revenge ultimately outweighs his loyalty to “family” (again… we saw this happen last season) – but what does he think he can accomplish by destroying the prison?